Techmer PM History
Techmer PM was established in November 1981 in Los Angeles to fill a growing need for a western U.S. manufacturer with technical expertise in formulating plastic colorants and additives. The start-up came to be through an agreement John Manuck, our founder and current chairman and CEO, struck with the Rehrig Pacific Company plant to utilize its production line.
The equipment had been installed one year earlier to produce color concentrates for dairy and beverage crates molded by Rehrig Pacific at its six molding plants. We used the production line to jump-start our company. By early 1982, a half dozen Techmer PM employees were designing, producing, and selling products to the plastics industry.
Techmer PM wasn’t a start-up for very long, however. By 1985, we needed to expand into a new facility of our own, which we opened in Rancho Dominguez, California. Later that year, Techmer PM began a relationship with Tokyo Printing Ink and Mitsui & Co. of Japan. This resulted in the construction and start-up of our now largest plant in Clinton, Tennessee in 1988.
The establishment of the Tennessee facility was a significant milestone. It not only included the latest developments for producing superior quality products, but it launched Techmer PM as a worldwide supplier to the plastics and fiber industries.
Today, Techmer PM operates six production facilities located throughout the U.S., and is a leading producer of custom color and additive masterbatch and engineered plastic compounds. We also operate offices internationally in São Paulo, Brazil and Cologne, Germany.
Here, we look at some of the important events, partnerships and acquisitions that have contributed to our success today.
Focus on Quality, Expansion Propels Industry Leadership
Steady growth since our founding brought the workforce to over 300 members by 1996. That same year, we received our first international quality certification (under the standards of ISO 9001) for the design and manufacture of our valued products. Continual process improvement is an ongoing effort at Techmer PM. We’ve obtained more certifications in subsequent years.
In addition to quality, we dedicated ourselves to finding ways to better serve our growing base of customers. We opened several new production sites, one in Gainesville, Georgia in 1997, followed by a fourth plant in 2000 in Wichita, Kansas. Two years later, we launched a Fiber Service Center in Dalton, Georgia, created specifically for the floor coverings industry. Today, we have six U.S. production facilities overall, in addition to international offices in Brazil and Germany.
Amid this growth phase in the 90s, we realized we could add another level of value within the industry by hosting key conferences and events. This includes Fibertech, a technology conference we’ve sponsored annually since 2000. It brings together industry leaders to discuss trends and collaborate on next-generation solutions to challenging problems.
Key Partnerships Spur International Growth Opportunities
In the early 2000s, we embraced international growth as a way to leverage our expertise and increase our footprint. We formed a masterbatch partnership in 2003 with Guangzhou Eastern Rainbow in Guangzhou, China. The agreement made it possible for Techmer PM to service its existing U.S.-based customers with China-based production facilities, as well as participate fully in China’s emerging market.
In 2004, we entered the engineering plastics market by acquiring a range of DSM compounds including the Electrafil® and Plaslube® product lines. That deal paved the way for a new production unit at our Tennessee site in 2005 to support this budding business. We would later name this business Techmer Engineered Solutions (Techmer ES). It was a wholly owned subsidiary of Techmer PM, and then formally integrated into the company in 2017.
Superior Suite of Products
Techmer PM’s name isn’t featured on items that you purchase for personal use, but our complete line-up of colors and additives are part of multiple products used in homes, offices, and cars, among other types of merchandise. Our leading suite of colorants and additives play an important role in every industry including those as diverse as automotive and agriculture.
Part of our offering includes a suite of branded products: Techflow, Techsplatter, Techsperse and Techsurf, our hydrophilic melt additive technology acquired from BASF in 2010.
The vision for operating the business underscores Techmer PM’s success, both early on and today. The business focus is described by the origin of the company name: Techmer from Technical/Polymer, and PM for Polymer Modifiers. The concept was to create a company that provided superior design and technical support for colorants and various additives that modify and enhance the end-use aesthetics and performance of plastic products.
Our mission is to provide value-added design with consistent high quality, lot-to-lot results. It all starts when our staff identifies the key properties needed in our customer’s product, and we formulate the combination of ingredients necessary to meet the need. Our manufacturing group mixes the components and encapsulates them in a polymer matrix that is compatible with our customer’s process. The end product of plastic pellets becomes one of their major raw materials in producing anything from a synthetic fiber, film, or molded part.
Privately Held, Family-Run Business
While we count more than 600 employees today, we strive to provide a strong family feel and open communication around our facilities. From the very beginning, John Manuck has instilled in all of us a sense of commitment to cultivate Techmer PM’s corporate culture. Several of Manuck’s family members have joined him in running the company as part of Techmer PM’s overall growth strategy and succession planning.
Overall, Techmer PM is a knowledge-based company where teamwork and constant learning are musts. The principles and values held by each member define our collective character. We strive to build relationships of trust in a creative environment of open communication. Commitment toward a common mission targets a vision where everyone can be challenged, secure, rewarded, and proud of being a member of the team. Techmer PM was named to Plastics News’ list of “Best Places to Work” in 2014 and 2016.
Read our timeline for more information about the people, partnerships, acquisitions, product introductions and other events and milestones that have shaped Techmer PM into an industry leader.